Upon telling my friends that I was going to attend the Django Django show most of them asked, “Who is Django Django and what do they sound like?” To which I replied, “They sound somewhat like The Beta Band and The Bees, but unique.” To which most of them replied, “Who are The Beta Band and The Bees?”
To my friends and everyone else that may be new to the Django Django camp, they are a four piece band consisting of David Maclean (drummer/producer), Vincent Neff (singer/guitarist), Jimmy Dixon (bassist), and Tommy Grace (synths) whose debut album came out early last year. The band met in Scotland at the Edinburgh College of Art and from the first flashes of light and warbles of synth, it was clear that this band had both a visual and an auditory artistic vision in mind. The show was a feast for the eyes and ears right off the bat with the jungle sounds, modulating Moog synthesizer, and Ennio Morricone grandiosity of “Introduction” which bled into the jangly British Invasion guitars and folky vocal harmonies of “Hail Bop”. Flashing lights, swirling colors, and videos and images projected on a screen behind the band provided a perfect accompaniment to their genre bending sounds, which surprised with more of an Afrobeat feel live than I expected.
The band was energized from the start and seemed legitimately excited to be playing in front of a sold out crowd in Portland and in a smaller venue than elsewhere on tour. The band certainly impressed and the performances were essentially true to the album with the exception of “Default”, “Skies of Cairo” and a few others stretched out with loping synth segues and percussion heavy breakdowns. Their versatility was on full display during the set as the different band members alternated between playing on the synths, drums, or various percussion instruments to push the songs to their climax.
After their roughly hour long set, the band retreated into the backstage area and I retreated upstairs to have a boulevardier. Not long thereafter I saw the drummer, David Maclean, wondering around upstairs, so I approached him to thank him for the great show and get his thoughts on their first major tour of the U.S. Turns out, they were eagerly anticipating their Portland show more than any other city on their tour and it did not disappoint – the Doug Fir was their favorite venue of the tour. Admittedly, David and the band had gained the inside track on Portland from several friends in the music business to save your money for the vintage shops, beer, and fantastic food because Portland has a has a European vibe to it with some of the best music fans in the country. David received his his most detailed preview of the city from a close contact in the music business, John Maclean, who coincidentally is David’s brother and former DJ and keyboardist for the Beta Band. Now its becoming more clear to the uninitiated? The bands have a family resemblance in addition to a musical one.
– Reviewed by Justin Siemer who attended the show courtesy of Music From Go To Whoa
Their live show is definitely an experience you don’t want to pass up, unfortunately their first US tour ended and they are back to the UK for a tour for the summer.
Also, check out the Django Django’s sessions they performed for local Portland radio KINK 101FM while they were in town and they will be playing on The Jay Leno Show on the Tuesday 26th March.
The band released their eponymous ST Django Django debut album in January 2012